HP is releasing an instant camera called the Sprocket 2-in-1. The new camera takes last year's small Sprocket printer and adds a camera to it, so users don't need a smartphone to use the device. The company's also updating its Sprocket app to include new AR features and is releasing a larger version of its printer for bigger photos.
The new 2-in-1 camera makes a lot of sense, especially considering that I specifically wished the printer was a camera last year. It works a lot like the Polaroid Snap in that it requires Zink paper, meaning there's no ink, and it lets you save photos digitally through its built-in SD card slot.
The difference between the two devices, however, is that HP's version pairs with phones over Bluetooth, so users can edit photos before printing them. They can add words, backgrounds, and filters. HP also says its updated app includes AR features that sound a lot like those offered by Prynt.
Both Prynt and HP let users add videos or photos to their prints, so that when viewed through their smartphone app, a secret images show up. HP says its "Relive Memories" feature lets users scan a print with their phone and then watch all the videos and photos taken on a specific date and in a specific place. Prynt does this through a code attached to the print, and presumably, HP does something similar. The idea seems to be that every teen will eventually own one of these cameras or printers, so they'll already have HP's app on their phone to access the AR content. I don't foresee this happening, but for dedicated friends, it could be a fun feature.
HP's also launching a larger printer, which it says fits 30 percent larger paper than the original Sprocket. It'll cost $149.99. The 2-in-1 camera costs $159.99. In comparison, the Polaroid Snap only costs $99.99, and the Prynt costs $149.99. Given that HP combines the best features of both devices, its price doesn't seem too outrageous.